The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

January 27, 2014

FULL TEXT: Downtown Dragons response in high school debate

(Continued)

Misconception No. 6: “The district has incorrectly projected substantial growth in future student enrollments and has used skewed population data to determine the size of the new high school.”

Response: In our Jan. 20 column, we made no allegation that LASD used skewed population data.

LASD’s own document, the 5-year financial planning document released in April 2008, showed the district having 2,008 enrolled students by 2013-2014 (see page 19 of http://www.lasd.us/sites/www.lasd.new.rschooltoday.com/files/files/5_Year_Plan-1.pdf). According to a handout at the Jan. 23 school board meeting, current LASD enrollment is 1,881 for grades K-12.

Misconception No. 7: “The relocation of the high school will increase transportation costs by 20 percent.”

Response: The actual language in the Jan. 20 column is "Busing needs for high-schoolers will increase by about 20 percent." Dr. DiRocco's presentation only considers new busing needs for students who live in the Borough. (http://downtowndragons.wordpress.com/resources-and-links/walkability/)

Misconception No. 8: “Transportation to the Newman site as compared to the current high school is more inefficient, costly and dangerous.”

 Response: The average student will be traveling 30 percent farther to get to the Newman site  ( http://downtowndragons.wordpress.com/resources-and-links/location-location-location/), which is certainly more inefficient and costly than the current site. In most situations, LASD has wisely not relied on state funding in budget assumptions. If the state were to reduce or cut reimbursements for busing -- which is possible, given current economic and political realities and the fact that the state is not legally required to provide bus service for students -- taxpayers would be saddled with the true cost of transportation to all four of our schools.

Regarding danger: Actuarial data on young drivers, crash data, and fatalities tell us teenagers are at their greatest risk in a car. The Newman school location will guarantee more teens, driving greater distances, on higher-speed roads.  (Young Drivers Reference:  http://downtowndragons.wordpress.com/resources-and-links/young-drivers-and-high-school-site-selection/) Given that traffic accidents in our area are far more likely than a hazmat emergency near the current school, we stand by our concerns over the safety of our teen drivers.

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